For people getting married after this week, you won't be legally considered either the bride or groom. Instead, new couples will be comprised of "Party A" and "Party B."
That's a byproduct of the California Supreme Court's decision May 15 that legalized same-sex marriage, which takes effect at 5 p.m. June 16. The Supreme Court is mandating all 58 counties in California to issue licenses for same-sex marriages.
Some county clerk-recorder's offices will remain open after 5 p.m. June 16, while San Joaquin and Sacramento counties will begin issuing same-sex licenses the following morning.
San Joaquin County officials have had some inquiries from people interested in same-sex marriage, but not a lot, said Teresa Williamson, operations manager for the Recorder-County Clerk's Office.
In Sacramento County, the clerk-recorder's office has 70 appointments for June 17, Assistant Clerk-Recorder Wanda Dark said Monday. She doesn't know how many of the 70 couples are gay and how many are straight.
"We don't ask that question," Dark said.
Sacramento County set a record for marriages in one day with 70 weddings on Valentine's Day this year, Dark said. That one-day record may be broken on June 17, she added.
Same-sex marriage may go by the wayside, however, if voters choose to overthrow the Supreme Court's decision in the November election.
Gareth Lacy, a spokesman from the California Attorney General's Office, said that attorneys in his office believe that same-sex marriages prior to the November election would remain valid, even if voters invalidate the Supreme Court's decision.
San Joaquin County
When: Weekdays, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Recorder-County Clerk's Office on the second floor of the Pacific State Bank building, 6 S. El Dorado St., Stockton.
Information: 468-3939, www.sjgov.org/Recorder.
When: Weekdays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursdays, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; next week, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday. In Fair Oaks, hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: 600 Eighth St. at F Street, Sacramento; 5229-B Hazel Ave. at Madison Avenue, Fair Oaks.
Information and appointments: (916) 874-6334, www.ccr.saccounty.net/MARFAQ.asp.
Source: San Joaquin and Sacramento counties
"We don't think there is any reason to believe the marriages will be invalid," Lacy said.
However, he acknowledged that the future of gay marriage in California could continue to be decided in the courts.
Sacramento County will have extended hours Tuesday through Thursday next week. The Clerk-Recorder's office will be open until 8 p.m. those three nights to accommodate the large requests for marriages, Dark said. The office is always open until 8 p.m. on Thursdays.
"We have a ceremony room, and we'll convert our conference room into a ceremony room," Dark said. "We put an arch up and try to decorate it. We'll move the conference tables."
However, San Joaquin County only issues licenses.
"We do not do ceremonies and never have," Williamson said.
That might change in the next year or two, after the new county administration building is built at San Joaquin Street and Weber Avenue, she added.
One new question county clerks will need to ask same-sex couples is if either partner was registered with the state as a domestic partner with the different person, said Williamson, the San Joaquin County official. If so, the relationship with the former domestic partner must be officially dissolved with the state, Williamson said.